Hurricane Irma prepares to hammer both coasts of Florida

Homeowner in Port St. Lucie puts up sign telling Hurricane Irma to head the other way. (Courtesy: George)


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Hurricane Irma and its category 3 power put both the east and entire west coast of Florida under alert Saturday morning as Governor Rick Scott urged Floridians to get out its path before noon.

"This is a deadly storm," Gov. Scott said. "Our state has never seen anything like it."

Forecasters anticipate the storm will hit the Florida Keys around daybreak on Sunday with winds of more than 110 mph.

Scott shared staggering storm surge numbers from the National Hurricane Center, which forecast 6-12 feet impacts above ground level are possible.

"This will cover your house," Scott said. "You will not survive all this storm surge."

Gov. Scott pressed hard to the 5.6 million Floridians who've been ordered to evacuate, especially those in the southwest part of the state.

Those evacuees need to be on the road by noon or stay put.

Over five million Floridians are under evacuation orders.

"It's going to go faster than you are, these winds are coming," urged Scott. "If you are in an evacuation zone, I hope you will go right this minute!"

The governor says 260 shelters are open in all counties of the state and another 70 are opening on Saturday.

Fuel trucks will also stop rolling once it's unsafe on the roads.

FPL said Saturday it has 25 percent more crews pre-positioned to respond to outages than it did during Hurricane Matthew last year. It also estimates some 3.4 million customers will be impacted by Hurricane Irma. The utility is moving crews and bringing in partners from across the country to assist. Teams from California, Colorado, Texas and Massachusetts are heading to Florida.

The extensive damage expected has FPL saying it may have to completely rebuild the western portion of its electric system in Florida. The eastern coast of the state should only need restoration, FPL said.

More than 50,000 people are in shelters across Florida right now and they're filling up.

Palm Beach County leaders said four of its shelters are now full, but there's space for an additional 37,000 people.

Palm Beach County emergency operations leaders say the 3 p.m. curfew remains in effect for all people in the county despite the westward movement of Hurricane Irma.

Palm Tran suspended all public transportation at 10:30 a.m.

Emergency planners with the county say the area could begin feeling sustained tropical storm force winds by 4 p.m.

Martin County emergency operations says it will shut water off to Hutchinson Island Saturday at 3 p.m.

The state hotline for anyone who needs help evacuating, for any reason, is 1-800-342-3357.

Share your Hurricane Irma photos and video. Just text "Irma" to 44332.

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